If you are looking at powder coating or coating equipment, you may have run across the terms ‘batch system’ or ‘automated line’. So what exactly do they mean?
What is An Automated Powder Coating System?
An automated system (sometimes referred to as an automated line, an industrial coating line or an integrated system) is exactly that: a powder coating system that moves the parts automatically throughout the different stages of the process. An automated system always involves a powder coating oven and a spray booth, may use manual powder spray guns or automated guns, and sometimes uses a pretreatment station, a dry-off oven, a reclaim system, or a blasting station or other equipment.
What are the Advantages of an Automated System?
If you need a lot of throughput on similar items, or if you are already outsourcing the powder coating of your existing parts, then an automated system can save lots of money and increase productivity. If you are already know exactly what you’ll need to coat, how many you’ll need to coat and how fast you need them finished, then an automated line might be the way to go if the budget allows for it.
What is A Batch Powder Coating System?
Batch indicates when the powder coated parts are manually moved from the booth to the coating oven. Since only so many parts can fit in the oven and booth at a time, they are done in ‘batches’. An operator applies powder to a batch of parts then moves them to the powder oven to cure. In many operations the time it takes to powder coat the parts and the time to cure the parts are about equal, meaning that both the oven and the booth can be running at full capacity all day.
When is A Batch System Right For You?
A batch system can finish whatever you can fit inside the powder coating oven and booth. This is ideal for job shops or for businesses that need to powder coat many different sized parts. Business that need to conserve floorspace can benefit from a batch system. Batch systems are substantially cheaper than automated lines, so price conscious consumers may want to start with a batch system. Finally, for business that need powder coating capabilities but won’t need them constantly will probably want a batch system.